The importance of dental x-rays at check-ups

October 01, 2017

When it comes to taking care of your dental health, a certified dentist is your best support. Although you can take positive steps towards your oral health at home by brushing, flossing, and eating a proper diet, it is your dentist who has the experience and technology to be able to spot potential dental problems, before painful or debilitating symptoms arise. One way that we detect issues before they arise is by taking dental x-rays at routine appointments.

As much as two-thirds of each tooth are tucked away below the gum, making it impossible to perform a full assessment of the health of your teeth using just the naked eye. X-rays allow us to take a clear and accurate image below the surface of the gum line and tooth’s enamel, allowing for a full and unencumbered assessment of your dental health.

How are dental x-rays used?

Dental x-rays are a diagnostic tool that can help your dentist identify a range of different problems. These can include unerupted teeth, fractures in the teeth that extend below the gum line, root problems, and issues with the density of the jaw bone. Determining jawbone density is important when it comes to the success of restorative treatments, like dental implants. This is because the stability of the implant is reliant on healthy and dense bone in the jaw. 

When should dental x-rays be taken?

If you are new to our practice, we will recommend x-rays at your first appointment. This will provide us with an opportunity to perform a complete evaluation of your dental health, and serve as a jumping off point for future check-ups and x-rays. 

After this, x-rays are normally undertaken on a regular schedule. How often this we take x-rays will depend on the state of your dental health. Patients who suffer from a wide range of dental problems will normally need more x-rays, than those who only needs to attend annual or bi-annual check-ups. 

Are dental x-rays safe?

Some people have concerns about the safety of dental x-rays, as they require exposure to radiation. However, the amount of exposure is incredibly small, and x-rays are taken as infrequently as possible. Overall, dental x-rays are considered to be very safe.

Digital Dental X-rays

An increasing number of dentists are turning to digital x-rays thanks to the benefits that they can offer. The biggest advantage of digital x-rays to patients is the reduced rate of radiation exposure, which is approximately 70% lower than that in standard x-rays. Unsurprisingly, there are also some benefits of digital x-rays for dentists. These include immediate film processing, increased accuracy of the images, and digital archiving. 

 

At our Alexandria dental practice, your dental care is our priority. Dental x-rays are one of the many tools that help Dr. Qureshi will use to treat and prevent oral health problems. If you have any other questions or concerns surrounding the use of dental x-rays, please contact our friendly, professional team today at 703-931-4544.